Allow Hybrid Learning for WSU CON
Allow Hybrid Learning for WSU CON
Why this petition matters
With the ongoing rise in cases of COVID, even among those that are fully vaccinated, students should be allowed to attend school in a manner that is most comfortable for them to optimize their learning. As of February 2nd, both new cases and the 7-day average for cases are over 1,000. Over our winter break, many students in the CON had COVID. We are entering a work force where we know the risks of being exposed and are encouraged to mitigate our risks whenever possible. School is one place we can do this.
In didactic class, there are approximately 80 students in one classroom for 3 hours at a time. There is no room for social distancing. We are being asked to not have snacks or water during these lectures (so that masks can remain on) which is either asking us to not drink water for 3 hours (surprising advice from a nursing school) or asking for us to leave the class each time we want to take a sip of water (highly distracting considering how often 80 students would be leaving during a 3 hour period). If it is not safe to remove the mask briefly for sips of water, it is not safe to return to class.
Any of the formerly mentioned scenarios is not ideal for our learning. However, if hybrid learning were allowed (those that wish to come on to campus under those conditions could while others could remain on zoom), there would be more room for social distancing and people could choose the learning environment in which they are most comfortable and most likely to learn the best in. This would be in the best interest of the school and the students.
With hybrid learning, COVID numbers among students would remain low and students would have freedom of choice in their education and safety. Zoom has been a great tool that still allows for group work and participation all while keeping students safe without requiring them to wear N95s or double masks for multiple 3-hour lectures in a single day. While we understand that this program is accredited as a face-to-face program, that does allow for you to change as necessary. COVID numbers within the community surely support this change. We are adults and should have a say in these types of decisions. Hybrid learning would allow for flexibility in these times that have required the utmost flexibility from us. Learning and teaching are not one size fits all- educators are supposed to ensure they are providing an education in a way that allows for all students to learn. Environment is a huge aspect of this. To close, let's look at the College of Nursing values:
The Washington State University College of Nursing embraces the core values of integrity, caring, altruism, social justice, and maximizing health potential. To realize these values, the college embraces diversity and equity, inquiry and scholarship, engagement and application, community partnerships, leadership, and stewardship.
Hyrbid learning would maximize the health potential of students and show that the school truly cares about us. To truly embrace diversity and equity the school must accommodate the differences in students abilities to learn in various settings. A setting in which we must wear N95 or double masks, not drink water, not have snacks, and aren't able to social distance for 3 straight hours is not going to be ideal for many students.
We ask that you, as Dean of our college, listen to your students and consider what they want and what is best for them.